CALGARY, Alta. — Earlier this month the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) re-established its presence behind the Partners in Compliance (PIC) program and has worked diligently to produce benefits, which will be attractive to participants.
After administering the PIC program for a number of years, the AMTA turned responsibility of the program over to Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation in 2003, citing there wasn’t a big enough carrot for participating carriers.
But a renewed partnership with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and a reviewed look at the program has the AMTA primed to achieve new standards in excellence, with a few carrots just for good measure.
“The program was never dead, it was just not monitored by AMTA,” said the newly appointed PIC director, Lane Kranenburg. “There was a realization of the importance of the excellence program and the importance of partnering with Alberta Transportation in an effort to make highways safer. We need to be consistently aware of the need for safe operations. It’s a partnership with Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation and the AMTA and all commercial vehicles on the road.”
The program has been restructured with a less onerous reporting program, a better set of benefits to participants and a less cumbersome entry program. The reporting process has been changed from monthly to quarterly and all paperwork can be done electronically, cutting down on stacks of paperwork.
As a former fleet owner, Kranenburg views the reporting process as the most attractive benefit to becoming a PIC member. By reviewing operations on a more regular basis, it will provide owners with an opportunity to identify and solve problems before they occur.
“It allows you to monitor your operation on a regular basis and act as an internal control for a preventative measure of maintenance,” he explained.
A new benefit rolled out with the restructured program, will be the ability of participating trucks to bypass weigh stations. Participating trucks will be outfitted with on-board transponders, which will transmit a signal to weigh stations, relaying the trucks participation in the PIC program.
“It’s a pre-clearance system, whereby if you have proven compliance you will have an on-board transponder, which will show a green light for bypassing scales,” said Kranenburg. “It’s not through a bypass lane, right down the highway without slowing down.”
Each one of Alberta’s 12 scales will be equipped with the technology to allow PIC vehicles to bypass and the goal is to have them operational by this summer. “We’re waiting for the installation for the pre-clearance system at the scales,” noted Kranenburg. “But the contract has been awarded and construction is already underway and we’d like to see it in operation this summer.”
The cost of becoming a PIC member has not yet been solidified, but Kranenburg said it would be reasonable and consist of the transponder as well. Some of the finishing touches for the revamped program are still being considered, but Kranenburg is confident it will give participants an opportunity to set a higher standard of excellence.
“It’s an excellent safety and monitoring program for the commercial industry,” noted Kranenburg. “Ideally I would like to see it become a national program, but we are going to start out west and try and get British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Montana and Washington in line with the program and that way scales can be bypassed in other places as well.”
For a full report see the April issues of Truck West and Truck News.
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